Sunday, December 30, 2012

This Christmas

So here I sit, by the warm fire, bowl games on TV, and a dying Christmas tree that I pray makes it until New Years! Jeremie and I returned from Christmas in MS last night and we were some tired puppies.

This Christmas season wasn't how I envisioned it, but as a result, some sweet memories were made. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Mom was determined I would have some Christmas decorations out before she left Dallas. So as I sat in an office chair (that we labeled my "wheelchair") she pulled out a lot of them. It was fun unpacking them out with her, because she loves Christmas decorations as much as I do. So a couple weeks later, after I finally had the energy to decorate the tree, here was the end result:

Christmas shopping was also a little harder this year since I was sick. (Let's just say a lot of people got gift cards.) Sweet hubby did help with the shopping and took me to Ross one day where I shuffled myself around leaning on the buggy. And I have to admit--Ross stepped up to the plate, because we found a  lot of of great gifts there!

And one night, a Christmas tradition came to us: Carolers!!! We had several elementary school kids show up at the door singing Jingle Bell Rock. It was about the cutest thing I've ever seen, so of course, I HAD to take a picture.

We headed to MS last Friday and after dodging the Dallas traffic the first 30 minutes of our trip, my head was already spinning.  Lucky for me, I was prepared, popped a Dramamine, and was asleep in 30 minutes. About 4 hours later, I woke up long enough to use the bathroom, eat some Wendy's and take another Dramamine. (Actually, we stopped at Toys R Us for a few minutes to get something for Judah, but all I remember is J making me sit on a bicycle box and coming to get me after his purchase.) Jeremie's parents was the first stop and Sunday we headed to Fairhope to have Christmas with Lauren & Gray. Judah LOVED his gifts (a xylophone and a Caterpillar tunnel) and he was a hoot to watch. Such a change from the silent sleeping baby last year!  But look at that face.

Christmas Eve was busy wrapping gifts (and eating gumbo) with my sister and my mom, which was a ball. Christmas morning was the traditional breakfast-in-your-pajamas at Jeremie's grandparents and then off to my parent's for lunch and gifts. My family put together the funniest gag gift for J. He is always talking about finding lease land that he can hunt on in Texas, so my parents thought they would help put together everything he would need for a "suburban hunt": a shooting house (shoe box), a corn feeder (coffee can), a toy gun, a target, and an inflatable moose head. It was a hoot!

Here is our 2012 pic! Our FOURTH Christmas married and EIGHTH Christmas as a couple! Hard to believe!

I love love love Christmas, even when it turns out a little different than you expected. And most of all, I am SO thankful that we have loving families to go home to; that kind of tradition is better than any gift you could buy!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Fall Fun

Although it's a week before Christmas, it's STILL Fall until December 21st!!! So technically I'm not behind an entire season. Jeremie and I really enjoyed Football Season Fall in our new house. Most weekends we were working on projects, so I would throw some appetizers together, put our MSU tablecloth on the coffee table, and we'd pig out and rest on the couch while watching the games. One weekend, J declared that it was time to put the paint brushes and tools down and have a "date weekend".  All you ladies out there KNOW that this is music to any wife's ear! I quickly got to planning (one of my favorite hobbies) and we spent that Friday evening dining at an Italian restaurant called Maggiano's. The next day we hit up a cool cafe in Uptown for brunch. And here is why I picked this place:

Chicken and Waffles. I have heard about this combination from several friends, but never experienced it. The fact that they served it with white gravy really set it over the top. J's plate in the upper corner was breakfast burritos, which was quite tasty too.  After brunch, we went to the Dallas World Aquarium, which was amazing. It was much more than an aquarium though, they had all kinds of animals! The colors of all the fish and corals were beautiful. But the best part was really just the quality time with my hubby. 

We also had some more visitors this Fall: The Wells! J's parents came for a long weekend and we did what we do best-eat and shop. We took them to Downtown McKinney where we could barely pull Mitch out of the antique stores, and somehow we squeezed two 4 ft. shutters into Cate's hybrid. We also went to the Texas 500 Nascar race where Mama Cate worked her connections and got us into the garage and on pit row! She was like a kid in a candy store! It was a neat experience, but since it was so loud, you have to wear earplugs and essentially can't talk for 4 hours. And unless I'm asleep....ya'll know I have an issue with not being able to talk for 4 hours.  

Mama Cate getting our "backstage passes"....

Jr. League has also been in full swing this season! I'm glad I joined because I've met some really sweet gals. Our October meeting had a "Homecoming" theme which was complete with a food truck, a drum line a chorus, homemade corsages, and they even gave out spirit sticks for awards! Ya'll know I love a party with a theme, and these ladies know how to do it right! Everything's bigger in Texas! We also had a huge Christmas market event.There were even firemen in Santa suits to take pics with, but I stuck with my girls. ; ) 

I also love Fall because it's time to start wearing sweaters, building fires, making s'mores, drinking hot cocoa, and lighting pumpkin scented candles. This year I also tried something new: candied apples.  My dear friend in Tallahassee, Melissa, posted some on her blog and I just HAD to have them! They were a little messy, but for my first time, I think they turned out pretty good. We also had trick-or-treaters at our house this year, which I LOVED! I am such a sucker for old time traditions. 

Hope winter holds more fun memories! Happy Fall Ya'll!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tis the Season to Be.....

I feel like this is the most appropriate phrase for this time of the year and all of us could insert so many interesting things after this phrase. In fact, I'd love to send a survey around and see what everyone would fill in.  If you asked me over the last 3 weeks, my answers would have ranged from Tis the Season to Be sad, joyful, sick, thankful, overwhelmed, discouraged, cheerful, grateful, and the list could go on and on!

I'll go back to Thanksgiving, which now that everything's ALL Christmas, seems like a lifetime ago.  My Thanksgiving break started off tough since our family dog, Max, had been sick for about a week by the time J and I arrived in MS. Long story short, we tried everything we could, but by the following Monday, we all knew Max was too sick and too old to pull through. So we thanked him for his 11 years of loyalty and let him go.  My parents got Max for me when I was a Junior in high school and he was one farm-loving, cow-chasing, deer-tracking Blue Heeler. Thanks Max, for being the best buddy.

Filling my stomach with turkey, dressing, casseroles, and pecan pie(s) was more than welcome food therapy after dealing with Max. I wish I was one of those people who just COULDN'T eat when they are sad, but I'm opposite! Wednesday was Thanksgiving with my wonderful family (including all 4 grandparents-how special is that?) and Thursday we did it all again with J's wonderful family. 

We did have another sad loss during our trip home....J's great uncle, Uncle Powell passed away the day after Thanksgiving. But we were thankful we were able to be there for his services and with the family. Through J's mom's eulogy, I found out much more about the sweet man that always wore the red suspenders to our family dinners. : ) 

Judah time was also much welcomed therapy, especially since he fell asleep on me every time I took him for a walk.  "Uncle J" and I also took him riding on the 4-wheeler AND changed our first poopy diaper. You would've thought it was a football game. We planned our strategy, our positions, and executed. J was to lift the legs, I was the wiper, and J would handle the "hand-off" [of the poopy diaper]. Beforehand, I told J to grab something to put under Judah so we wouldn't get poopy all over his parent's bed. The boy comes back with a trash bag to lay him on.  I died laughing, but hey, it worked. After putting the diaper on backwards and replacing it properly, Judah LITERALLY smiled and clapped for us.  

Our little guy is growing up!
And let's just throw it out there, we all know it happened with the Egg Bowl. (Insert the phrase: Tis the Season to Be.....Disgusted with Your Football Team.)

Jeremie and I returned to Texas and I was ready to get back to our routine. Well, that only last about a day, because the next day I started feeling a little under the weather.  To try to nip it in the bud, I layed around for a couple days, and pushed through a Thirty-One party on Friday night. By the time I got back, I could barely even hear myself talk; my head was swimming! I won't get into all the details, but in the middle of the night when my whole body was tingling and shaking, I knew something was wrong! So the next morning, we headed to the doctor where the verdict was a middle ear and sinus infection. What the doctor DIDN'T tell me was what a long recovery it would be!!! (I know an ear infection sounds so simple, but it literally attacks everything in your head that controls your balance, which is so miserable!)  By Tuesday when I wasn't much better, the house was a total disaster, and J was exhausted from trying to work AND take care of me, it was Carol to the rescue! Moms just have a sense when they are NEEDED, and quicker than two shakes of a lamb's tail, Mom had bought a plane ticket and was at my front door 7 hours later. The feeling of relief was instant. Mom spent the next 4 days tending to my every need, cleaning the house and making ample supply of Taco Soup & Gumbo so we didn't have to worry about cooking. There are no words for how grateful I was to have her.  Tis the Season To Be....thankful for a Mom's unconditional love and need to take care of her children.  She even managed to pull out of few of my Christmas decorations and put a few things up.  

If you know me, you KNOW how much I love Christmas and all the decorations, festivities, and traditions that come with it.  Well, since I can barely even drive at the moment, I have missed all the Christmas events that I had on the calendar. We have a tree in the house (from Lowe's, which is an abomination to me) but there aren't even lights on it yet. I was having myself just a good ole pity party the last few days about this, thinking-this is my FAVORITE time of the year and I've missed all the things that make this time special!!! And then oh my goodness-DING DONG-the Lord hits me on the head with the spiritual frying pan and says: NO! These things are NOT what make this time of the year special! It's about My Son arriving on Earth for you! And it hit me. If my spirit is crushed this season because I have missed Christmas parties and feel behind on shopping, what does that say about my faith and how I value Jesus' entrance into this world? And just like that, the Lord quietly brings me back to Him. : ) 

Now-I'm not saying that I feel guilty or bad for loving Christmas parties, events and traditions. (Nor am I saying that I will never be stressed during the holidays again, because we are all human.) And when I feel better I'm totally gonna put lights and all those pretty ornaments on the tree and make Jeremie ride me around town to look at Christmas lights! But I am saying that I needed to be brought back to reality and the real reason for the season and how grateful I am to be a child of the Child that we are celebrating.